There can be a misconception that the world of parks and the world of technology are completely separate and cannot be compatible. However, this is not the case, and nowadays it has become the norm to optimise public spaces and parks with modern technology in order to monitor and manage the space. Many parks these days, especially those that are key landmarks for cities, feature equipment that is fitted with the latest technology; from smart BBQ’s, street furniture and lighting, to recreation equipment and more.
How can technology be implemented into Australian parks and what are the benefits?
Smart outdoor furniture has become particularly popular in recent years. Many chairs and table settings now come with tech features including charging stations for laptops and phones and some even include location maps, weather information and news updates. These kinds of settings are highly beneficial for parks located in metropolitan areas that include businesses and education facilities, as they enable work outdoors, which is becoming a more and more popular choice.
For parks that include BBQs, optimising them with smart technology, such as the Grillex 360, ensures that the BBQ can be regularly monitored, reducing maintenance costs and ensuring that the BBQ is in prime condition at all times.
Smart bins are a great way to keep an eye on public bins and make sure they are clean and well maintained. Sensors inside bins can detect how full it is and alert garbage contractors when it needs to be emptied.
Outdoor lighting is integral to the safety of parks. Smart lighting can offer a range of features that allows for the asset to be monitored regularly, ensuring the council can stay on top of maintenance and be alerted when issues arise. Smart lighting can also be controlled remotely and can include sensors to reduce costs while keeping parks well-lit and safe.
Technology-optimised recreation equipment is becoming a staple in spaces that offer fitness and play solutions. Many fitness stations now include technology that connects to apps, which allows users to monitor their progress and get the most out of their workout. Playgrounds now include options to connect to apps or digital games that encourage children to use technology while still enjoying the benefits of the outdoors.
These types of park equipment and more are invaluable to councils, providing them with information in real time and enabling them to route their waste collections and maintenance practices more effectively, and handle issues as soon as they arise.
The long term benefits of such technology goes further than simply maintaining equipment. The data provided allows for councils to closely monitor every aspect of the space, including how regularly the park is being used, which equipment is the most popular, and if actions should be taken to install more equipment or reduce equipment to capitalise on costs.
By collecting and analysing data provided by this type of equipment, councils are able to optimise the usefulness and benefits of their parks, making them safer, and more integrated and engaging spaces that connect with people of all ages and backgrounds.
“Successful governments and businesses…need to be nimble and open to seeing the benefits of smart infrastructure,” says Dr Nancy Marshall, Senior Lecturer in City Planning at UNSW.
Outfit your parks’ with the latest technology and start reaping the benefits.